Monday, September 27, 2010

100 Things that are over used in books

I'm making a list of 100 things that are over used in books, here are the first few, as I read and realize more over used things I will add it to the list!   If you have some you would like added to the list so everyone can see.  Let me know!!  

1. The Dream. . .-Even in Harry Potter J.K Rowling had chapters start with a dream.  Any writer should know that there are much better ways to start chapters! 

2.That Book Shelf moves!!- okay so why out of all your furniture, can that book shelf open up and lead you down a secret passageway?  It's used a little a little to much.  Have something else move so you can get down to that secret room.  

3. Prince Charming- Okay so just because there's a prince in your book doesn't mean he's charming. And even if he is, he deserves more thought to his name.  ( has lots of great names and lots of great ways to narrow names down) 

4. Edward- There are other great old-fashioned names!  Again, babynames.comThey have tons of names and many ways to search for names so you can narrow down what you are looking for! Plus they have articles from authors to authors on tips for finding the perfect name!!! 

5.Need to Know. . .and You don't need.- That line is a line that has been used waaaaaaaaay to much!!!!  There are other ways to tell people that you're not gonna tell them whatever it is you're talking about!  

6.The Love Triangle- Why triangle?  Why not make it a Love square?  At least it wouldn't have already been used to death.  Oooh Maybe a love Circle!!! ooooh octagon!!

7. Bad Dragon!-  Okay,  why are dragons always mean, and Evil?  what's wrong with Nice dragons?  I actually do have a couple of bad dragons throughout some of my books but I love to have good guy dragons. And in Chinese literature dragons are the protectors of Man kind!  

8. Death of a child-  If a writer wants to get to people's emotions in the book they shouldn't need to kill a child just to get people hyped up!  Find something new to use!  

9.  I'm the bad guy so I'm gonna kill everyone!-  Just because your bad guy is truly evil, does not mean that he just plans on Killing everyone.  There are worse things  than having the characters die!  Find another way for the bad guy to get to people.  

10. I'm the main bad guy so I die in the end!-  This does not need to be so. . . I have quite a few bad guys that actually don't die in the end.  Find some other punishment, as I said above,  there are worse things than dying!

11.This is so Amazing!!!. . . wait! It must be a dream!-  Okay so when something amazing happens to you do you pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming?. . . Didn't think so.  And that probably means that your characters wouldn't do that either.

12. This necklace will make you fly!-  If your character needs a magical piece of something,  don't put it in jewelry!  There are tons of things that can have magical power and lot's of things that can be carried around in your pocket. . .jewelry doesn't need to be the only source and It's been done to death!

13. I'm Dreaming but not really!-  NO MORE DREAMS!  That is not the only or best way to reveal information!  So when your characters needs a revelation,  please reveal while she/he is awake!

14. I'm a villain. . .or am I?-  What if the who you think is the Villain really isn't? What if through his eyes he really is doing the right thing? Then who's the villain?

15. I have a wart on my noes and he has warts on his toes and that makes us bad!- Along the lines of why bad dragons,  why are the trolls and witches -along with so many creatures-  always portrayed as mean beings?  There are nice humans and mean humans,  why can't there be mean trolls and witches and nice trolls and witches?

16. The car crash that killed my parents. . . ok not really but that's what my evil aunt and uncle and grandma and step mom and step dad told me just so I wouldn't ask any questions because really I have magical powers and I'm rich and people are out to kill me.. .- come on really!?!?!?!! Seriously! Why do the parents ALWAYS die in a car crash. . .or so that's what the character was told. Why? Tell the kid that their parents were abducted by aliens. . at this point it would be more original!

17. My parents were killed in a car crash. . .for real this time! Okay seriously, This is one of the most over used excuses for not having parents in your book!! Stop killing off the parents!! Curses, magic, Kidnapping (or parent-napping). . .etc There are millions of other ways to have the parents in or not in the story. Stop killing the parents!! 

18.I am a your hero and your are my heroine. We are in love because we are the main characters. Not because we are perfect for each other. We are in love because we are the entire reason the story was written! Why can't the main hero/heroine fall in love with other characters? 

19. I am the perfect little main character and therefore I know everything, I never mess up and if I do it's someone else's fault. Do you ever make mistakes? Is there ever something you have to look up in a dictionary because you just don't know? There's a good chance that your characters don't know everything. In fact they probably know less than you so if you are googling information, your character might need have to as well!

***More coming soon. ***


  1. OOh, great post, Konstanz! I'm tired of writerly cliches, too. We, as writers, are encouraged to write fresh. Thanks for this list! <3

  2. Thank you! I enjoyed it and I cannot wait to make it all the way to one hundred! It'll be awesome when complete!

  3. I love the thought of a Love Square. That's so funny. I may have to write that book!

  4. Oh, oh...the title could be Love Squared! Okay, no one steal that idea.

  5. @ Jane, Thank you!

    @Valerie, lol I can't wait to read that book! You'll have to let me know when it's done!